April 2018

Monday, April 16, 2012

My Kind of Town

Walla Walla, Washington is not usually a vacation destination. It's best known, perhaps, for its onions. Ann and I traveled there for our spring break, however, and the visit was fabulous.

We stayed at a B and B, Maxwell House, about a block from campus and within walking distance of downtown. The hostess, Penny, is relaxed and helpful and makes a pretty and substantial breakfast. Penny is helpful and there when you need her, but we didn't feel like we were vacationing with her like we do in some B and Bs. The home was built in 1904, and Penny's antiques are interesting and practical. There's a gaslog fire in the living room and cookies in the cookie jar. The home feels like a home and not an antique mall. If you go to Walla Walla, you should stay at the Maxwell House.

People move slowly in Walla Walla. When I approached a corner, planning to cross the street, any onconing drivers stopped a good ten yards from the cross walk, leaving me no doubt that they saw me. When I made it to the other side of the street, the driver waited a few seconds before moving slowly on: there was no gunning of the motor to let me know that this driver was in a hurry and irritated that I had slowed the day.

At stop lights, I never feared for my life when I crossed in the cross walk, as invited by the man in white lights. Drivers watched for me. Not some of them. All of them.

There's public art everywhere. Whitman College, a small private college, has an art sculpure walk around campus. We saw a colorful rectangle divided into perfect ratios (Math Teacher Ann took lots of photos there); a giant colorful carving of Venus de Milo, and a great stick horse ridden by a weary looking plastic bag cowboy. (It was prank week.) That's just a few highlights. In town, my favorite sculpture was a frog looking reflectively at a fountain, fist to chin in "The Thinker" pose.

We visited wineries, just a few among the 178 or so, and basked in the sun as we sipped red wines. Our B&B moved at just the right pace, too. Big breakfasts (I'm back to my post-Christmas weight) at a leisurely 9 am, and chocolate chip cookies in the cookie jar for the taking.

Like the poet Theodore Roethke, "I wake to sleep and take my waking slow." In Walla Walla, I could take my walking slow, too.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mary!

    I am contacting you on behalf of the CERN Foundation. We have been so appreciative of your re-tweets and mentions lately! I wanted to see if you would be interested in helping spread awareness about Ependymoma Awareness Day and the CERN Foundation’s commemorative butterfly release this Thursday (April 19).

    More information is available here:

    Let us know if you would be willing to share this news through your blog Facebook and Twitter pages.

    More information is available if needed. Thank you and we look forward to working together.

    Kind regards,

    Bonnie on behalf of the CERN Foundation |


Please comment: I'd love to hear your thoughts!